You are not alone this Christmas

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So this is a slightly different post from me, I came across it on Kellie’s blog Big Fashionista  - and decided that I would share as well.

I am lucky enough to be spending Christmas around people who I love and who love me back, I will be safe and warm and have everything I could want.

So many of us take our families for granted at Christmas. We assume that we’ll spend 3 or 4 days visiting and receiving guests, and in some cases bemoan this fact.

Please take some time this season to remember those who may not have visitors, who may be feeling low or alone. If you have neighbors who are alone this Christmas  pop your head in to say hello, take round some chocolates and spend a little time with them.

And if you are feeling alone this year, there are people ready and waiting to talk with you.

This list was compiled by the lovely Kellie at www.bigfashionista.co.uk

MIND http://www.mind.org.uk 0300 123 3393

Samaritans http://www.samaritans.org 08457 90 90 90

Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/newcomers 0845 769 7555

Stonewall http://www.stonewall.org.uk Info line 08000 50 20 20

London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard 0207 837 7324

SANELine http://www.sane.org.uk 0845 767 8000

Preventing young suicide http://www.papyrus-uk.org For people in Northern Irelandhttp://www.lifeline.info 0808 808 8000

Childline http://www.childline.org.uk 0800 1111

Depression alliance http://www.depressionalliance.org

Refuge http://www.refuge.org.uk 0808 2000 247

Eating Disorders Association http://www.edauk.com 0845 634 1414

Shelter http://www.shelter.org.uk 0808 800 4444

NHS Direct http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk 0845 4647

No Panic http://www.no-panic.co.uk 0808 808 0545

Please don’t suffer alone, these people are waiting to answer your call.

Is this the end of a beautiful friendship?

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

That sums up how I feel about friendship, be in it with your whole heart or not at all.

You see the thing is I, like most girls, spent my teenage years with lots of friends, my closest school friends, Becky, Camilla, Michelle. Then there were my sports friends, Lydia, Hollie and Abi who I spent hours together on weekends in the driving rain playing netball and racing round athletics tracks in the sun, then there were my older friends at college or Uni, Debbie, Jo, Gemma. Looking back on them all it amazes me how few I stay in touch with.

Don’t get me wrong of all those people I’ve been to a couple of weddings, a christening and a smattering of birthdays but in all honesty the majority of the time the friendships simple grew apart, we went to different schools, moved away or went off to Uni.

Thanks to Facebook we stay in touch and chat from time to time, the obligatory Happy Birthday post comes each year. I’m happy with that, close enough to congratulate them on their wedding, birth of first child etc but not people I see every day.

Then there are the friends I’ve made post school, Claire, Liz, Steph, Robyn Amy, Craig, Kris, Matt and Andy the people who have been in my life through the ends of relationships, my travelling and dad dying. They are the people who listened to me whine about being in a crap relationship and then moan about being single, they are the ones who came to say goodbye when I went travelling, they spoil me on my birthday with love as well as gifts, they were there when my dad died. They held my hand and wiped away my tears. I like to think I’ve done the same for them. Parents being ill, miscarriages, divorce, depression, babies being born, losing jobs, losing friends, and through all of it I have loved being their friend, I love being kind to people, I want people to know they can come to me any time. As Ms Austen said I don’t love people by halves, it’s all in for me.

So now I am in a sad situation, a friend, I’ve known for the best part of 10 years has drifted away. There are no replies to texts, no birthday call or text, no nothing. I was there when her baby was born, when her boyfriend left, when she was heartbroken, we’ve run down a beach naked together, got into some questionable yet hilarious scrapes together. Someone I loved without question. And now, nothing.

I’m confused to say the least, don’t get me wrong there are people who are no longer in my life, one specific one that broke my heart, but we ended with a great big bang, a huge over the top fall out, never to really speak again. But somehow this is worse, this slow trickle towards no contact, a noted gap in my life. The thing that makes all of this sting that little more, is she doesn’t seem to have noticed, we have mutual friends and nothing has been mentioned, no one has come to me and told me there is something up, so I must conclude that she is happy for our friendship to fizzle out.

It’s made me think about the whole friendship, like I guess I would with any other relationship, was it ever really a ‘good’ friendship, we’re we ever that close.

This infuriates me, because to me we were, I was there in the middle of the night when her baby wouldn’t settle, I cooked for her when she was ill, I was there for all the moments that matter as well as the daft ones caught on camera.

So I am left in limbo, do I ask her out right? “why don’t you talk to me anymore?”

I didn’t think as a ‘real grown up’ I had to deal with things like this, I thought adult friendships lasted a life time, I thought she would be someone on the plane as we jet off to Vegas for my 30th, she would be there on my wedding day, being totally inappropriate but totally her – but I guess not.

So there you go, the end of another relationship, and once more I am left perplexed and pensive about the whole thing.

And I’ve decided to me it is worse than ending things with a boyfriend, because the saying goes “Boyfriends come and go, friends last a life time” I guess not in this case.

E x